Stitch is back.
An exclusive from The Hollywood Reporter shows that Lilo & Stitch, the 2002 animated movie from Walt Disney Feature Animation, is getting the live-action treatment, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The studio has hired up-and-comer Mike Van Waes to pen the script for the remake, which will be produced by Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich of Rideback, formerly known as Lin Pictures. The two are already known in the Disney halls as they are working on the high-profile live-action remake of Aladdin.
The original film was written and directed by Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders, who later found acclaim with How to Train Your Dragon.
The Hawaii-centric story told of the bond formed between a lonely human girl named Lilo and a dog-like alien named Stitch, who is engineered to be a force of destruction. Pursuing aliens, social workers and the idea of the bond of a family figure into the proceedings.
While not a massive success by modern box-office standards, the well-regarded movie was a bright spot in a down period of Disney’s animation history and launched several direct-to-video sequels as well as several television series.
t is unclear whether the new project, which is intended to be a live-action/CG hybrid, is intended for theatrical release or for Disney’s streaming service that is set to launch in 2019.
Rideback’s Ryan Halprin is co-producing.
The project is the latest in Disney’s successful strategy of mining its past animated classics and repurposing them as live-action tentpoles events. Cinderella, The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast and Pete’s Dragon are some of the recent releases, with Dumbo, The Lion King and Aladdin among those heading moviegoers’ way in the future.
Van Waes is better known in Hollywood circles as a writer of horror fare. He penned The Crooked Man, based on a character from New Line’s The Conjuring 2 and which is being developed as a Conjuring Universe spinoff. He also wrote Not in Kansas, a Wizard of Oz-themed horror project also set up at New Line. Van Waes is repped by CAA and Grandview.
Lin’s Aladdin is due in theaters May 24, 2019. Guy Ritchie directed the movie, which stars Will Smith as Genie.